Bills beef up D-line with DE A.J. Epenesa
The Buffalo Bills selected defensive end A.J. Epenesa out of Iowa in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 54th overall.
Epenesa, who recorded 14.5 tackles as a junior at Iowa, provides the Bills with another pass-rusher to go along with 2019 first-round selection Ed Oliver.
Weight: 275 lbs
- Outstanding size, strength, and length
- Excellent run defender with strong, heavy hands
- Good hand placement to get inside, control rep
- Stacks, sheds, locates and makes play on the ball
- Anchor to not give up ground against the run
- Technically sound pass-rusher with a good plan of attack
- Refined hand usage for a deep arsenal of rush moves
- Already wins with a rip, swipe, bull, push-pull, and long arm
- Added value as inside pass-rusher
- Disappointing athletic profile
- Lacks explosiveness to get upfield, threaten edge
- Doesn't have speed or bend to run the arc
- Does best work inside but doesn't have size for every-down role there
Epenesa should have a productive NFL career ahead of him - don't let the athletic numbers fool you. While he may not have the traits necessary to consistently threaten the edge, there are many other ways he wins, including inside. He's a polished pass-rusher, and his best role at the next level will be as a base defensive end, either at a 7- or 5-technique, who can transition inside to match up with guards at the 3-technique in passing situations. Epenesa is an every-down defender who should make an immediate impact.